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Entering The Refiners Fire...
There are parts of this year and even before I have been unable to write about, because the Lord would whisper to my spirit, “Not yet.” He knows the moment, when we are able to handle and truly express the process or wilderness we have walked through. And when I started writing for His glory, I promised to always listen to His prompting. Took me a while to truly grasp that, but with wisdom and growth instilled bit by bit over the years, I wait until He releases me to do so.
From the very beginning I knew that the Lord would ask me to dive into places, emotions and experiences, I would prefer to lock away and share them with those that need to know that this journey is not easy. Sometimes as Christians, we share a little of our trials, but the fear of exposing it all can be a scary thing. We’re afraid of judgement, what others would think of our faith, if they would question whether we were even insane. But, what if you could reach that one person? That one that God longs for you to reach? The one that matters to Him, and needs to know that everything works for His good in the end?
That one… is the very reason I began Little Sparrow Loved to begin with. I didn’t feel ready, and the truth is, I don’t think I was. But God led me by the hand the entire way. He walked me through every trial, and there have been many times, I begged Him to not take me any further. And through it all, being a steward for His ministry, this little newsletter and blog, kept me in the Word and trusting in the Holy Spirit, even when I struggled to do so.
The journey you are about to embark upon with me, isn’t an easy one. Parts are hard for me to write, and may be hard for you to read at times, if you’ve been struggling in your season. What I hope you gain from this is a feeling that you’re not alone. That you don’t need to be perfect. That life is hard and lessons are always going to be learned. That no matter how far you fall, God is there beside you.
Maybe this journey is for you, maybe it will help you understand someone else better, maybe you will share it with the one person that needs to read it. I honestly don’t know, but I remain faithful to the Lord, and my stories are many. I could begin by going back to my childhood, and maybe throughout the years I will, but I’m actually going to start back at the beginning of 2020. And what better time to start than now.
I remember as clear as day it was February 2020. I was on one of my daily walks, headphones in and listening to a podcast. Even though the noise was going in, my mind was busy speaking with the Holy Spirit. Life was going well, for the first season in many years. I felt healthy, my design business was doing well, our carpet business was thriving, my past traumas neatly tucked away in my invisible backpack, and I couldn’t have felt happier. Still… I felt there was something missing. That even though things seemed great, I was still over working in my own strength and not fully handing it all over to God. I lived with a daily to-do list longer than my arm each day, and I wouldn’t stop until it was all ticked off and the next days list ready to go.
I finished my walk and climbed back into my car. As I went to start the ignition, I paused and lowered my head. “Lord, I know there is more you want from me. Father, refine me.” Seems like a simple and random prayer right? I had no idea as I prayed that day what was involved in refining. Blindly, I figured He would slowly strip from me the things that had kept me from moving forward. As if that process wouldn’t be so bad and the changes would be so slow, I would barely notice. I mean, how bad could it be?
Nope. I was so wrong and wasn’t even prepared for how fast I was thrown into that refining fire. There were many times, I pleaded with the Lord for it to stop. Many times I cried out and asked if He was there. Many times I questioned if I would ever remember who I was before it all began. With the refining fire also came a wilderness. Lonely, barren, void of presence… but not the enemy’s voice.
Before, I go any further with these posts, I want to explain a little about being refined and How does God refine us? He heats up the furnace of affliction, in order to reveal and burn out the impurities, so it can be skimmed off. The apostle Paul writes, our faith is “tested by fire'“ when we are grieved by various trials. It’s intense and does not ease up, as the Lord delivers us from the very things that have held us back, held us under and trapped us in a cage. You don’t see it, but through it all, God is strengthening our spiritual muscles, our character, our wisdom and teaching us that the only sustaining, living water… is Him. And without even realising it, until the end of that process, we have grown deeper roots in our trust of His plan above our own.
Thank you for sticking with me to this point. It’s just the beginning of the past few years, and as I move forward with vulnerability, I hope you come along with me or share this with someone who could use the encouragement and ask them to come on the journey also. It will be set out very much like chapters, so I will be sure to place a link in each post, to the journey or letter before. Also each post is completely written, right here, unedited. If you value my writing, I would love for you to consider becoming a paid supporter and blessing this ministry in its journey. This is my Full-Time job and I pray that I can continue to encourage you all for many years to come.
Love Sarah, xx.
Continue to read my journey Pain In The Fire